LibriVox recording of Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens, in the public domain.
The LibriVox catalog page for this work lists the LibriVox readers.
Dickens’ last complete novel was published serially 1864-5. It begins with an intriguing fortune offered to John Harmon by his late father, a rich dust contractor, in his will.
To receive the money, John must marry a certain Bella Wilfer who he does not know from Eve. He is returning from the exile enforced by his father and confides in a ship’s mate who attempts to murder him. The mate gets killed instead, leaving one inconvenient corpse. Because John is considered dead (the body is found with his papers), the money passes to Mr Boffin, old Harmon’s foreman. Harmon adopts Bella and John comes into his employ disguised as John Rokesmith. Bella does not fall for John but through kindly Boffin’s contrivances learns to hate money and fall for her suitor under his false name. Eventually she learns of his true identity as the Boffins had previously, and the villainous one-legged Silas Wegg’s plot to blackmail Mr Boffin is brought to light.
There is also a story running behind the main plot about a certain Eugene Wrayburn and his love for Lizzie Hexam, and his rival’s attempt to murder him. The two plots are only really connected through the waterside murders but it allows Dickens to indulge in an extremely socially diverse cast of characters.
July 24, 2009 Subject:
Great way to "read" Dickens
I have always thought it would be good to read Dickens. A friend recommended that I start with "Our Mutual Friend", but after several failed attempts, I finally decided to download it off of Librivox and instead try listening during my morning commute. What a joy!
I especially appreciate how several readers made a point to read chapters centering around a common characters. There are many excellent readings, including quite a few chapters by Alan Chant, Andy Minter and Ophelia Darcy. There were a few chapters were the quality of the reading, or the sound, was below par, but overall, it was an excellent introduction into the wonderfully drawn characters that make Dickens a master of British Literature.
reads us through Mr. Boffin. Andy Minter brings Mr. Wegg